Friday, September 25, 2009

Ember Daze: Confessions of a Convenience Catholic

I'm coming clean.

I do not have a pot of homemade lentil soup simmering on my stove this Ember Friday, nor did I on Ember Wednesday.

My life, frankly, is falling apart. I won't bore you with the details, but everyone in our little family is going in umpteen directions this week, including me.

And we still have Ember Saturday to go.

I dashed to the grocery store on Wednesday and piled my basket with the items pictured above. Emma looked incredulous when I arrived home and dumped the contents onto the kitchen counter. "Do you know how bad that stuff is for you?" she questioned.

"Of course I know! Just don't read the ingredients!" I snapped. "Here, eat a bean burrito."

Nathaniel, the original junk food junkie, called enthusiastically from the computer, "I'll take some cheese sticks!"


If you don't understand about Ember Days, it's really very simple--in theory. You can eat one meal and two snacks. The two snacks can not add up to one meal. So if you have a problem with that, Emma recommends making your one meal bigger to compensate for any largess in the snack department. Yes, you can have meat one time, except on Friday!, but who needs the added confusion when three bean burritos can cover an entire ember day: Two for a meal and a half of one at each snack time.

It gets a little more complicated with the cheese sticks. I never did cheese stick math in school, but I'm estimating that six cheese sticks makes a meal and two a snack. If you want real confusion, just try figuring out how many apples, carrot sticks, and/or celery do not add up to one meal. Been there. Done that.

Definitely, the way to go is to eat the same thing all day and avoid meat completely. That way you know you've got your portions right and you don't goof up on Friday.

Everything was going OK until I finished my cake decorating class today. We had been given pink and green icing to use for our finished product, so I did this:

Needless to say, I wasn't thinking about Ember Friday when I chose my theme. It was after 1:00 when I got home, and I was starved. I was going to eat a snack so that I could enjoy a full meal with my family tonight. (Herb just returned from a week-long business trip last night and is going again tomorrow night.)

Before I knew it, though, the whole burrito was gone. "Well, heck," I thought. "I might as well eat a piece of Easter cake. . .Make that two."

Now THAT'S a meal! Definitely!

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